The C-class we get in India will soon be replaced by the all-new model shown at the 2014 Detroit motor show. So, this Grand Edition is, essentially, a celebration of the 50,000 cars produced at the Chakan plant and a way to get the last few of those out of showrooms before the new one steps in later this year.
The Grand Edition is a regular C-class with added styling elements to differentiate it from the standard model range. It gets an AMG styling kit on the outside with front and rear aprons, side sills, sporty 17-inch alloys with AMG hub caps and chrome tail-pipes. It's also got 'Grand Edition' badges on the wings. The rest of the car looks the same and, despite its age, looks fresh and the big grille gives it presence.
On the inside, the changes are minor - you get the same solid build that you'd expect from any Mercedes-Benz. Quality is top-notch and all the controls feel well damped and precise to use. The LED screen on the dash is now of a higher resolution but controls only a handful of car settings like Bluetooth and the music system. The Grand Edition also gets satellite navigation as standard, however, it's not the easiest to use and isn't the best around either. To start navigation, you have to press and hold down the 'C' button next to the COMAND controller. It isn't intuitive to use and the graphics are poorer than what we are used to these days.
Under the hood is a 2143cc turbo-diesel engine - the four-cylinder motor makes a modest 167bhp. But it’s the way the power comes in a creamy smooth manner that impresses the most. There is more than enough power on tap and, even the gearbox, though a bit on the slower side, is smooth-shifting. An additional bonus is that the C 220 CDI is a lot quieter than the now defunct twin-scroll turbo-equipped C 250 CDI. The C 220 CDI is a safe handler and straight-line stability is fantastic. Even the ride is quite forgiving and only sharp potholes catch it off-guard.
The C class is still a very competitive car and its relaxed driving experience adds to its overall appeal. With the Grand Edition, Mercedes has given it some added spice to attract more buyers. Rear seat space is still cramped though and the price is quite high as well. At Rs 39.16 lakh (ex-showroom, Pune), the Grand Edition C 220 CDI isn't the best bargain around. Yes you do get more features but at a very hefty cost.